9 more people die of COVID-19 in B.C., as 584 new cases confirmed

·5 min read
A person walks by the entrance to a private COVID-19 rapid testing site in Vancouver on Oct. 4, 2021.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A person walks by the entrance to a private COVID-19 rapid testing site in Vancouver on Oct. 4, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

British Columbia announced 584 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 more deaths on Friday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 4,982 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 436 people are in hospital, with 156 in intensive care.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,156 lives lost out of 204,917 confirmed cases to date.

Location of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. by health authority

LOCATION:

There are a total of 33 active outbreaks in assisted living and long term care and six active outbreaks in acute care facilities including:

  • Mission Memorial Hospital.

  • Chilliwack General Hospital.

  • Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster.

  • University Hospital of Northern B.C.

  • GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel.

  • Bulkley Valley District Hospital in the Northern Health region.

As of Friday, 89.8 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85 per cent a second dose.

COVID-19 infections in B.C. by vaccination status, adjusted by population and age

RATES:

From Oct. 21 to 27, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 65.1 per cent of cases and from Oct. 14, they accounted for 73.8 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

COVID-19 in British Columbia by the numbers

BY DAY 2.0:

So far, 8.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.9 million second doses.

Mask mandate extended indefinitely

In a written statement Friday, the province's health officials announced the indefinite extension of the current indoor mask mandate, which was set to expire on Sunday, Oct. 31.

The official mandate on the Ministry of Health's website states that the order does not have an expiration date and residents in B.C. must wear a mask in all indoor spaces, as an effort to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 amid a fourth wave.

"The requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces is being extended during this time of higher transmission of COVID-19 in communities," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer.

"This important layer of protection will help make all of us safer, along with practising hand hygiene regularly, staying away if sick and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated."

Maggie MacPherson/CBC
Maggie MacPherson/CBC

People age five and older will now have to wear a mask in all indoor spaces including malls, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, public transportation and inside schools.

The statement says masks can be removed temporarily in order to eat or drink, identify an individual, participate in a fitness activity or while receiving a health service that requires a mask to be removed.

"Throughout this pandemic, we have all been taking steps to keep our communities safe, and we must continue to do so," said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

"Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are important steps we can all take to stay healthy, protect our health-care system, support health-care workers and support one another."

Health officials said people who cannot wear or who cannot put on or remove a mask without assistance are exempt from the mandate.

Mandated vaccines for youth coaches

Coaches for youth sports teams must now be fully vaccinated if they want to continue working behind the bench.

According to a provincial health order issued on Oct. 25, an adult must have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if they are "leading, supervising or assisting with a program for children or youth, whether the program takes place inside or outside."

Daily COVID-19 vaccination progress in B.C.

VACCINES 2.0:

The order applies to coaches for outdoor sports like soccer, and to people supervising or leading youth activities including learning, art, drama and dance for persons under 22 years of age.

B.C.'s health minister, Adrian Dix, told The Early Edition Friday morning that because people must have two doses of vaccine to get into most indoor facilities, the order is designed to prevent people who are not immunized from entering these spaces by claiming to be coaches.

"This is largely designed to deal with a loophole that has developed," said Dix.

3rd doses coming'

During his Friday morning interview, Dix also detailed plans for the B.C. rollout of third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine over the next months.

Between now and the end of the year, the immunization program will continue to provide third doses to people who are immunocompromised, to residents in long-term care and to those in assisted living and rural and remote Indigenous communities.

Dix said about 100,000 clinically vulnerable British Columbians have already received their third dose and the province is now focusing on seniors and Indigenous communities who will be invited by Immunize B.C. to get theirs soon.

"Those vulnerable people who were given priority the first time will be getting priority and be notified in the same way this time," he said.

Pfizer and Moderna will be the vaccines used for the third shots. The health minister said he expects to see other Canadian provinces rolling out similar third dose programs soon.

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending COVID-19 booster shots for all adults 80 years of age and older.

The week-over-week hospitalization comparisons are temporarily suspended after the Northern Health Authority introduced a one-time, retroactive accounting change to its hospitalization numbers Tuesday. We will reintroduce them Wednesday, Nov. 3.

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